11. When I was about 8, I used to cross Hwy 140 in Cathy’s Valley, California to get to school. The road wasn’t busy, but when cars did come by, they were usually going at a good clip. One day I headed to school with my head in a book and nearly walked right in front of a speeding car. Luckily, I heard Grandma screaming at me and looked up to see what she wanted. I was not allowed to read on the way to school after that.
12. I love figs very very much. Fresh, ripe figs right off the tree. They remind me of Grandpa, who used to take us for walks around his neighborhood in Sacramento, and encourage us to raid all the neighbors’s fruit trees. He managed nevertheless to be well-loved in that neighborhood. I believe I inherited my irresistible charm from him. Also my penchant for stealing the neighbors’s fruit.
13. I grew up in a very quiet house and currently live in a very noisy one. My brother, who grew up to be an aero-space engineer, was an unnaturally quiet little boy. My parents and I loved books. An evening in our house usually involved one person speaking at a time in orderly fashion over dinner, followed by quiet reading and writing. Now I have three little boys all of whom are full of vim and vigor and loud. And Carey loves to listen to music and watch movies and play with noisy electronics. There is always always always noise in the house and if I could change one thing about our family, this would probably be it.
14. My first cat was named Sis, because she was Fluff’s sister, obviously. My mom picked her out for me because I had lost my shoes (again) and my consequence was that I couldn’t get out of the car. I loved that cat into madness. Literally. She was mad. She was black but otherwise completely unlike Inara. She was huge, afraid of everything, and hated to be handled. When we moved to England, she stayed in California with the people who rented our house and my two biggest nightmares were that my dad would die in a war and that my cat would die in a bear trap. She was eventually abandoned for six months until Dad went back to check on the property. She heard his voice and came at a run to jump into his arms. She lived with my grandparents for a while after that and then came back to us until I was 16 when she died from old age.
15. My earliest recollection is of the house we moved to when I was 2. I think we lived in a trailer before that. I remember being shown the new house by a realtor and thinking that it was waayy too nice a place for us. It had leaded glass in the side door and three good-sized bedrooms off the hall, and a living room separate from the kitchen. But we moved there anyway.